THE current climate and aggravating drought tolls experienced harshly by farmers and Namibians as a whole are fast attracting the international community, with the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia receiving a N$127 million grant from the Green Climate Fund in South Korea last week.
According to environment minister Pohamba Shifeta, the money is expected to benefit over 200 000 Namibians by strengthening the climate resilience of the vulnerable rural communities through a five year Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Approach Project.
“This project was conceived as a result of climate change impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. These impacts continue to produce alterations in the boundaries between rangelands and other biomes, such as deserts and forests, directly through shifts in species composition and indirectly through changes in wildfire regimes, opportunistic cultivation or agricultural release of the less arid margins of the rangeland territory. Many of these effects are already affecting rural Namibia, with grazing conflicts, water scarcity, ever spreading desertification and huge variability in production figures frequently reported,” Shifeta stated.
The project, he says, is based on the premise that biodiversity and ecosystems provide services that increase the climate resilience of local communities. Activities undertaken as part of the project will maintain and enhance ecosystem integrity to continue to support the generation of food and income in order to reduce the severity of negative socio-economic impacts of climate change on vulnerable rural households.
In addition, an amount of US $10.8 million(approximately N$150 million) was sourced by the EIF from the Global Environment Facility for the implementation of the Namibian Integrated Landscape Approach for enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance to eradicate poverty project (NILALEG).
The five focal landscapes in Kunene, Omusati, Ohangwena, Kavango West and Zambezi Regions will form part of the project.